Maya Angelou's Legacy

Maya Angelou passed away yesterday. She left so many wonderful quotes. Here are some of them:

  • "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
  • "Nothing will work unless you do."
  • "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain."
  • "I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way (s)he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights."

The first quote is so true. I don't remember all of the negative things people have said to me, partly because some are so painful that my mind has suppressed them. But I remember the feeling. That feeling returns when something similar happens, and I feel  a strong reaction to what someone says. My first thought is: I must have heard this in the past. 

Similarly, I remember when people make me feel good, uplifted, light and positive. And those people we are attracted to even more, right. They make us feel good about ourselves :) . 

The second phrase is a call to action. Personally I can spend a lot of time listening to people, and get inspired, but in the end it all comes down to action: how are you going to implement this lessons in your life? It is like Maya said: "When you learn, teach. When you get, give." Pass it on, pass it on. 

We also need to carefully consider our attitude towards things. I can't change certain people, but I can try and influence. However, I am not going let energy slip away on frustration over not being able to change someone. I am going to do what I can, and focus on: What is God teaching me in all this? 

Similarly, we can't change our past, but we can decide the attitude we will have towards our past. Please don't go around wishing your past was ideal and Mayberry. It is energy that is used towards something we can't change. Focus instead on: What does God want me to do with my past? How has it made me stronger/more experienced/hardworking/courageous? Consider that maybe your past was exactly what is was supposed to be, so that it could prepare you for great deeds in the future. 

The final citation is about being able to tell how someone around you views life. Rainy day? Great for flowers and God's creations to grow, and water reserves to increase. 

Lost luggage? Well, in the end those are all material things. And thinking about it, I can survive without it, while hoping and working towards getting it back. After all, I have got my loved ones here next to me, we are all safe and sound, and that is the most important thing. 

Entangled Christmas lights? God, I can see how you have given me a small test to try my patience, and I will pass it. If I keep my calm, have a good attitude and work slowly and methodically, I will sort out these lights. In your name, Amen!

Rest in peace, Maya. I know that God is taking good care of you.